This in response to the Jay Lustgarten letter of Saturday, March 2, titled “Lets scrap winner-take-all Electoral College”.
The Electoral College is an interesting institution, formed by our Founding Fathers. One fear was the larger states would dominate the smaller ones in presidential voting, so the Electoral College was created.
The Electoral College was modified, because in the beginning, members of it voted for two persons, with the highest vote-getter being elected president, and the runner-up elected vice president. Then there was a problem, as Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr tied in a vote. Ultimately, Jefferson prevailed, with Burr becoming vice president. The rules were changed afterward to have those in the Electoral College vote separately who they wanted for president and vice president. Then, beginning in 1964, Washington, D.C., was allowed to vote in the Electoral College.
Only two states — Maine and Nebraska — divide their Electoral College votes. Other states can do it, but choose not to. Politically, if done, the political power of states without a a “block voting” advantage would have their influence diminished. That change would affect both parties. Maine and Nebraska are small states with small populations. But imagine if states like California, Florida, New York, Texas or other large states did it did it?
The two states, Maine and Nebraska have two electoral votes that go to the statewide winner. Then an electoral vote is awarded to the presidential winner in a congressional district. This is already being done!
Politicians of all stripes and affiliations know “all angles,” if they are good politicians, that benefits them and their party the best. That is why it is interesting to me why Hillary Clinton did not pay more attention to the Midwest in 2016. That is just one very important example. Certainly California and New York are “a lock” for presidential candidates running as Democrats. Washington, D.C., has never voted Republican in its presidential voting, no other place that has electoral votes can claim that.
Do not count Donald Trump out to be re-elected in 2020. It will be interesting on how the campaign unfolds. I am especially curious how the very progressive and liberal elements will dominate the Democrats next year. Will they nominate what would be considered a “mainstream candidate” for president, or go “far left”? That remains to be seen.
People in our area should consider going to a political party convention. Even run for delegate. I have been to six Republican National Conventions, an interesting experience. The downside to this attendance is you have to pay your own way, and have the time to do it.
While I am known best locally as vice president of the Hopkinton Town Council, I also chair the Republicans in Hopkinton. Those wishing to contact me can do so at firstname.lastname@example.org and 401-360-4603.
Scott Bill Hirst